Yesterday, the King Edward Hotel in Jackson, Mississippi reopened after 40 years and after a $90 million renovation, thanks in large part to former New Orleans Saint Deuce McAllister and the Louisiana-based HRI Properties. Congratulations to everyone involved.

I think the restoration and reopening of this historic property is great news for the people of Jackson, and not surprisingly, this news has generated a lot of personal testimonials about the King Edward.

Which got me to thinking about Alexandria’s own Hotel Bentley and then about Dave Matthews of the Dave Matthews Band.

A few years ago, back when the Bentley was still open and I was in college, my friends and I heard that Dave Matthews was in Alexandria during the holidays for a wedding and was staying at the Hotel Bentley. As ridiculous as it may make me look, I have to be honest: Immediately upon hearing that Dave Matthews was in town, we all hopped in a car and drove to the Hotel Bentley. We walked into a completely empty Mirror Room, except for a four-top across from the bar in which Dave Matthews was seated, his back against the stained glass windows.

My friends and I took the four-top directly across from his table, and by chance, I took the seat closest to our celebrity guest.

Without going into too many details, for a few minutes in the Hotel Bentley, Dave Matthews and I spoke about this song:

And about faith in God and the purpose of music.


Then, about fifteen minutes later, the Mirror Room suddenly became overwhelmed with people, armed with cameras, albums, and even guitars, and shortly thereafter, Mr. Matthews wisely retreated to his room.

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